Rank Songbirds


Leon Rooke’s Rank Songbirds delves into the drama and humour of love and desire, politics and the passing of time, celebrating humanity’s resilience and its inherent frailty.

In Rank Songbirds, Leon Rooke deploys his playful wit and slantwise perspective to explore the joys and the burdens, the hilarities and the surprises of life in its absurd, charming, tragic minutiae.

These are poems that revel in foibles, saucy verbal sparring and the possibilities of artistic expression while ever mindful of the fallibility of humanity, its voracious appetites, its complicit silences, its convulsive politics. And though it may be that ‘Those angels serenading us through / Hazardous night were rank songbirds chirping away / Mindless of hawks zooming overhead,’ these poems remind us that today is not to be confused with last week’s curse, that freedom is getting the high notes right and that, in a pinch, one might ‘apply love’s bandage to the shiftless heart / This minute pooling debris about your feet.’


Leon Rooke

Leon Rooke is an international reveller, skirt-chaser and former wastrel whose celebrated oeuvre may have been ghosted by his wicked half-sister, or maybe his mother, or an eighteenth-century ‘Keeper of the Lamps’. But not this one. We may wonder why. Also, he’s a raffish [ed. note: charming] bum.
Chapter Contributors Pages Year Price
Poems "1-14"
17 $1.70
Poems "15-28"
16 $1.60
Poems "29-41"
14 $1.40
Poems "42-53"
13 $1.30
The poem "Songbird Sonatarina"
13 $1.30